Police in New York City have arrested a 12-year-old boy and charged him with aggravated harassment after he scrawled anti-Semitic graffiti across a school playground in the Queens borough.
The graffiti in PS 139’s schoolyard featured dozens of swastikas, a Nazi eagle and the words “Hail Hitler” and “No Jews Allowed” all written in chalk in the predominantly Jewish neighborhood.
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo called in the State Police Hate Crimes Task Force to assist in the investigation.
“I am appalled and disgusted by the Swastikas and other anti-Semitic symbols of hate that were scrawled in a Queens schoolyard,” Cuomo said in a statement before the arrest. “In New York, we have zero tolerance for such vile acts of anti-Semitism.”
Thank you @NYPDHateCrimes for making an arrest in this case.
It is really disturbing to learn that this hateful graffiti was scrawled by such a young child.
— NYC Jewish Caucus (@NYCJewishCaucus) February 28, 2019
The boy was arrested, charged and subsequently released to his mother’s custody. All the graffiti was washed away before children returned to school from winter break Monday.
“For a 12-year-old to go ahead and do that… it’s very disturbing to hear,” City Councilman Chaim Deutsch, who chairs the Council’s Jewish Caucus, told the New York Daily News. “That’s why we need more education.”
Additional swastikas were found at another New York City playground but a connection between the two incidents has yet to be established.
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